Security loophole in Telegram

Telegram is accused of letting users create large groups where secretly films, stolen or leaked images and videos of women are distributed. Women from more than 20 countries seem to have fallen victim to such groups, where their nude photos are circulated. These groups seem to involve thousands of Telegram users, who have access to intimate photos and videos.

Based on reports, the administrators of the Telegram group ask the other members to provide intimate images or videos of their ex-partners to publish them within the groups. The administrators do not reveal the identity of the senders, resulting in them receiving dozens of nude and illegal photos and videos.

According to the victims, which are mainly women, these nude photos are used by other users who create fake social media profiles. Alongside the intimate images, personal information such as victims’ home addresses and phone numbers are also posted within these groups.

Telegram has not yet officially commented on the allegations, but there is a security loophole that allows the circulation of such sexual material, which leads to privacy issues. After all, Telegram, which has more than half a billion active users worldwide, does not have a dedicated policy to encounter the circulation of intimate images or videos. The company asks the users to agree not to post illegal pornographic content on publicly viewable channels, however, so far Telegram does not implement a tracking and control system to ensure that users abide by the terms of use.

George Mavridis is a freelance journalist and writer based in Greece. His work primarily covers tech, innovation, social media, digital communication, and politics. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. Also, he holds an MA in Media and Communication Studies from the Malmö University of Sweden and an MA in Digital Humanities from the Linnaeus University of Sweden.